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A further example from a lava flow off the coast of Hawaii shows similar discrepancies.
If dated with the carbon-14 method, the flow appears to be less than 17,000 years old, but dating with the potassium argon method gives dates of 160,000 to 43 million years.
Specimens would then look much older than they actually are.
d) Even if the rate of decay is constant, without knowledge of the exact ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14in the initial sample, the dating technique is subject to question.
While there is no proof that the rates were different in the past than they are today, there is also no proof that they were the same.
Thus radioactive dating relies purely on assumptions.
They will argue that the clock was not reset if the age is too old, or that isotopes were selectively removed if the age turns out to be too young.
In the study on the Hawaii lava flow cited above, it was argued that entrapment of excessive amounts of argon gas had made the samples appear older than they were.
You can get an idea of the relationship between C14 and age at the Carbon Dating calculator page. 1950 was chosen for no particular reason other than to honour the publication of the first radiocarbon dates calculated in December 1949 (Taylor, 19).
Ninety-five percent of the activity of Oxalic Acid from the year 1950 is equal to the measured activity of the absolute radiocarbon standard which is 1890 wood.
Some scientists argue that the magnetic field of the earth has declined over time.